You know the drill: Wash your face when you wake, and then again, before you turn in. So it's no surprise a face cleanser is crucial for healthy, fresh skin. Its job is simple, but direct: Take off a night's worth of oil, and a day's worth of makeup and grime. But how do you decide between a bar soap, scrub, gel or cream? Before you lather up, get the dirt on how to find the best face cleanser for you:
Skin Type: To pick the proper cleanser, you need to determine your skin type, whether it's oily, dry, normal or sensitive. Try this test: Rinse your face with water. If it feels tight and dry afterwards, it's dry; if you still notice a shine, it's oily; if it feels no different, then your skin is probably normal. If your face tends to get red and irritated from moisturizer, makeup or sunscreen, you're sensitive.
Formula: Cleansers come in a variety of different formulas like a moisturizing milk, gel, foaming wash, bar, scrub, mousse and cream. It's usually a personal preference, though most formulas are specific to skin type, i.e. a cream base is more moisturizing, while a gel helps wash away oil.
Ingredients: It depends on skin type, but a surfactant or cleansing agent will top the ingredient list, along with moisturizers, botanicals, extracts, anti-agers or anti-bacterials. If you're skin is sensitive, you'll want to make sure the formula is fragrance free, since fragrance is a known irritant.
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